Ever wanted a magical dinosaur filled with luminescent creatures to keep you company at night? Now’s your chance.
Filled with the eukaryotic domain’s version of Sea Monkeys, DinoPet, a living bioluminescent pet, is filled with dinoflagellates. They are tiny creatures that, once settled and happy, will glow in the dark when slightly jostled.
When your DinoPet arrives, simply pour the dinoflagellates in the bottom along with some of the included food. Then put in a room temperature location that gets dark at night and stays light during the day, so they can photosynthesize. (But don’t put it in direct sunlight.) If you don’t have a window with natural light, the light from regular house lamps will do. Just be careful that the DinoPet doesn’t get too warm or too cold. After a couple of nights, the creatures will glow when jostled. It is best seen at night, of course. They’ll glow brightly with the jostle, and then their brightness fades a bit but lingers for a while. The more they multiply and eat, the more of them will fill your dinosaur, and the longer the glow lasts, from my experience. You then feed them again every four to six weeks. Enough food comes with the kit for several feedings, and you can then buy more as needed.
How well does it work? We found that the creatures liked to congregate in the dino’s head, but as they multiplied, they branched out to other parts of their new home. We left them alone the first night, but even the second night we saw plenty of glowing. They multiplied each night after that, growing in number and glowing longer each day.
The kit comes with plenty of information on the science of what you’re looking at, including a complete taxonomy, and detailed directions on the care and feeding of your DinoPet. Some sets also include a DinoPet sticker, a T-shirt, and/or a picture book telling a story about the DinoPet. In all, a delightful gift for a science-curious kid or family.
A DinoPet starts at $59.95 and is perfect for anyone who likes to ooo and ahh over their science toys (and who doesn’t?). If you order it in the winter months, be sure to retrieve it from the outside in a timely manner, or the dinoflagellates might perish. If you purchase it from a store, it will likely come with a redeemable card to send away for your creatures.
Note: I received a DinoPet for review purposes.